Bug Club Comprehension is a robust guided reading programme that uses a powerful and proven talk‑based approach to develop a deeper understanding of texts, regardless of each child’s decoding ability.
Bug Club Comprehension provides 30 weeks of teaching for each year group, with ten weeks of teaching per term. Each week of teaching is anchored by a key text. Texts are varied in genre and style, and some are studied for one week while others are studied over a period of up to five weeks. Each week of teaching runs as a cycle, with activities for small groups of children to complete on a daily basis, in sessions lasting between 30-40 minutes. The progression of activities helps to develop children’s comprehension strategies and deepen their comprehension of the week’s key text.
The first day focuses on the key strategy of clarifying, helping the children become familiar with words they will experience in the text, and removing barriers to comprehension. Working independently, in pairs or in a group, children complete activities that explore key vocabulary from the text. They record their responses in their individual workbooks. On the second day, children pre-read the key text for the week. The children record their thoughts about the three ‘key questions’ – the ‘looking’, ‘clue’ and ‘thinking’ questions – in their Guided Reading Journals. They also generate their own questions about the text in preparation for the group discussion on the third day. On the third day, the whole class discuss the three key questions. Children are encouraged to speak directly to one another, building on each other’s comments and in response to the question prompts to move the discussion forward; this gives opportunities for ‘in-the-moment’ formative assessment against the key comprehension strategies. Reflecting on their group discussion and revisiting the key questions, throughout the rest of the teaching cycle, the children explore what more they have learned and how their thinking has developed, completing activities in their Guided Reading Journal, revising and embedding the strategies practised during the discussion. The written outcomes provide an excellent opportunity for the formative assessment of written comprehension.